See Intelligent Design’s Brief Shining Moment, about a think tank for Intelligent Design (ID) that existed for a short time at at Baylor University, and which was headed by Dembski. It was founded in 1999 and dissolved it in 2003, following objections by the Baylor faculty. For a look at what Dembski has been up to lately, see Dembski’s Creationist Revival Meeting.
Dembski’s article in the Baptist Press indicates that he hasn’t given up his dream of turning Baylor into a center of ID propaganda. Here are some excerpts with bold added by us:
Baylor University remains a proving ground for SBC controversies. Former Baylor president Robert Sloan’s “2012 Vision” continues, at least for now. This vision rests on two pillars, seeking to establish Baylor both as a top research university and as a school faithful to its Christian heritage.
Okay, what’s the problem? Let’s read on:
Secularized faculty, who are in the majority at Baylor and forced Sloan’s removal (he is now president of Houston Baptist University), see Baylor’s Christian heritage as a liability and would like to make the university’s slide into secularization complete.
Well, there goes Sloan’s “vision.” Dembski seems to have a bit of a grudge against Baylor’s “secularized faculty.” We continue:
Ken Starr, who becomes Baylor’s new president June 1, therefore faces a crucial test: Will he continue the full Baylor 2012 Vision, advancing not just Baylor’s academic distinction but also its Christian faithfulness, or will he give up on this second pillar of the vision?
We interpret that “crucial test” to be this: Will Ken Star be hospitable to ID? Surely, you know who Ken Starr is. Here’s more from Dembski:
Starr, no stranger to controversy, seems poised to do the right thing. But good intentions are one thing, decisions and actions are another. Baylor will be sure to test Starr’s mettle. Indeed, his first test is likely to come from an unexpected source, an online college resource known as College Crunch (http://www.collegecrunch.org).
Here’s a better link: College Crunch. Their website says: “College Crunch offers info and reviews of the best colleges, the most popular degrees, and the top career options available today.” That‘s going to be Starr’s first big test?
According to Dembski, the College Crunch website praises a Baylor professor named Robert J. Marks. Why does Dembski care? Why should Starr care? Stay with us and you’ll see:
Marks’ research lab was expelled from Baylor because Baylor officials saw it as supporting Intelligent Design, a scientific theory that purports to dismantle Darwinian evolution (Baylor biologists enthusiastically teach and promote Darwinian evolution — see their “Statement on Evolution” on the Baylor Biology Department’s website: http://www.baylor.edu/biology). The expulsion of Marks’ lab from Baylor was reported nationally from World Magazine to the Chronicle of Higher Education. It was also a centerpiece of Ben Stein’s film “Expelled,” documenting the persecution that proponents of Intelligent Design endure from the academy.
Aha! Baylor not only Expelled Dembski’s ID shop, but Marks’ too. Baylor seems to be a serious academic institution. Moving along:
It is naively optimistic to think that Marks’ appearance on the College Crunch list vindicates his research on Intelligent Design.
That’s a safe bet. Another excerpt:
Such optimism would be better justified if incoming Baylor president Ken Starr were to reinstate [Marks’] Evolutionary Informatics Lab’s website on the Baylor server and to recognize Intelligent Design as a legitimate area of research for Baylor faculty. That would constitute a true vindication of Marks’ work on Intelligent Design. It would also constitute a true validation of Starr’s commitment to the full Baylor 2012 Vision.
So Dembski lays down the challenge to Ken Starr: If Starr wants to win praise from Dembski, then he’ll have to recognize Marks and his ID work — and presumably, he’ll have to reinstate Dembski too.
Here’s how Dembski’s article ends:
Perhaps the College Crunch list is a foretaste of good things to come.
Yes, perhaps College Crunch and Ben Stein will restore ID to Baylor. Let’s see if Ken Starr will yield to all that pressure.
Addendum: For a peek into the strange world of Marks’ Evolutionary Informatics shop, see: Olivia Judson, Rap Music, & Dembski.
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